The commanding officer knew the family and contacted the elder Longfellow, who gave his consent despite being very much against it. Charley hadn’t been in the service long when he contracted malaria and typhoid fever and had to come home to recover. Though he was gravely ill, the diseases turned out to be a blessing in disguise: While he was at home getting well, Charley missed the Battle of Gettysburg, which killed or wounded more than 51,000 soldiers . Charley returned to his post in August, and on December 1, his father received devastating news: His young son had been shot during the Battle of Mine Run on November 27, with a bullet clipping his spine. Surgeons warned the family that Charles may never walk again.
Sailor. Tough-guy. Hero. Legend. That's Popeye. An underdog with bulging forearms, a mean uppercut and a love of canned spinach. Unassuming, unsophisticated and undeterred by a challenge, from the minute he walked into the comic strip, THIMBLE THEATER, and muttered his famous “Ja think I’m a cowboy?” line, Popeye the Sailor Man captured the hearts of millions of fans around the globe. As the star of his own comics strips and animated series on the big screen and small, Popeye became quickly ingrained in American culture, and today remains one of the most recognizable pop-culture icons in the world.